What A Long Strange Trip It's Been

September 1, 2018 · 5 minutes read

Just over four years ago, I impulsively responded to a Facebook post about a devops evangelism role at a new tech startup.

I had never been an evangelist and I knew nothing of the term “devops”. #yolo ¯_(ツ)_/¯

This spontaneous act illuminated a path of personal and professional growth.

A path that created new opportunities for me almost daily.

A path that changed me for the better.

A path that wasn’t there… until it was.

I just had to follow it.

Without a doubt, my time at VictorOps has been the most transformative and rewarding of my entire life…. Professionally, personally, emotionally.

I’m not the same person I was four years ago. Not even close.

I am so excited for my VictorOps family. The recent acquisition is a huge win for both organizations. I expect really amazing things to come from this.

Prior to any news of the merger, I had already given myself permission to consider life outside of VictorOps, and Splunk was right at the top of my short list, as were several other amazing companies.

I have a great deal of respect for Andi Mann and the Splunk leadership… and working along side them would have been very rewarding and challenging.

In the few short weeks since the acquisition, I can tell that our values are in complete alignment, particularly around continuous learning.

They are going to do great things!

However, it’s time for me to set off down another new path that has presented itself.

A New Challenge

I am excited to announce that I’ll be joining an amazing team of Developer Advocates at Microsoft that include many friends who I admire and look forward to collaborating with.

Together, we are tasked with:

continuously empowering people to achieve more…

This is my new challenge … my new opportunity!

A new opportunity to fail … a new opportunity to learn … a new opportunity to grow … a new opportunity to live

Challenge accepted!

Everything I’ve learned about situations like this says something amazing is down that path… I just have to follow it.

The result will be a net positive no matter what happens.

Growth & Transformation

When I take a step back and look at all of the things I’ve written, lectured, and coached on during my time at VictorOps, continuous improvement is probably the most common theme and a foundational idea to what I believe is the single most important way of approaching just about everything in life (including building complex technical systems)…

having a “growth mindset”.

Simply put … we are all capable of doing anything. Our efforts and attitudes determine our abilities and therefore potential.

It’s all in how YOU think about it.

Whether you think you can, or think you can’t… you’re right. — Henry Ford Many of us assume that our intelligence, creativity, skills, and capacity to learn and improve are static. That they are fixed properties of our “self” that can’t really be changed in any meaningful way.

It is what it is.

Whatever will be, will be. It’s true that much of life is outside of our control. Still our personal qualities such as intelligence, creativity, and even love and friendship, can be continuously improved upon through deliberate and mindful effort.

We all have different starting points but each of us can change, improve, and grow.

Our life “is” what we make it. It isn’t just the hand we are dealt.

Whatever it “is” is because we influenced it to be that way, both consciously and subconsciously.

Whatever will be, “will be” precisely because we willed it to be.

Looking at it like this, where we are today is just that .. where we are today.

Life is not pre-determined.

Everything is possible.

When made explicit, continuous learning, improving, and growing…

…the rest of your story can be anything you want it to be. A shift towards a growth mindset guides you toward who you are meant to be.

We are all writing the story of our life.

Living… should be more than coasting, more than surviving, more than existing.

It’s about experiencing new things. It’s about stretching and growing. It’s about learning more about who we are and desire to be.

Four years in to the job and in most cases when I’m faced with explaining what “devops” is, I frame it as:

An explicit focus on “Continuous improvement” through genuine inquiry, experimentation, shortened feedback loops, transparent communication, and a razor focus on exploring unknown unknowns. Now it’s time for me to take my own advice.

I’m looking forward to whatever is ahead of me. The challenges will be great. The failures will be lessons. And the experiences will all be worth it.

This I’m sure of.

Thank you VictorOps. I’m so proud of everything we accomplished together.

I love you all like family!

Life is too short to wake up in the morning with regrets. So, love the people who treat you right, forgive the ones who don’t and believe that everything happens for a reason. If you get a chance, take it. If it changes your life, let it. Nobody said it’d be easy, they just promised it would be worth it. — Dr. Suess